The UK’s Electric Car Charging Network
With an increasing number of people choosing ecologically friendly electric vehicles (EVs), The UK’s network of public EV charging points is growing too. But how convenient is it to charge your EV?
If most of the journeys you make in your EV are short trips to work and back and locally for shopping, etc, the cheapest and easiest way to charge your car is at home overnight. That way your car is ready to go every morning when you need it. Electricity is also usually on its cheapest tariff during the night.
When buying an EV, you might be entitled to financial support from the government to cover up to 75% of the cost of installing a home charging point. The units are typically either rated at 3kW or 7kW and the one you choose depends on how quickly you need to charge your car. As an example, with a 3kW charging point, a Nissan leaf will be fully charged in 12 to 13 hours. Using a 7kW unit will reduce the time to six hours.
But what if you make longer journeys or you don’t have the facility to charge at home?
Public Charging Network
As of October 19th, 2020, there were 12,523 locations in the UK with public charging points with 19,826 devices offering 34,593 connectors. Of these, 2,424 locations offered 3,568 rapid or ultra-rapid charging points with 8,643 connectors. To demonstrate the growth in numbers, 370 new devices were added over the previous 30 days, with 662 new connectors.
Charging points can be found at petrol stations, motorway service areas, supermarkets, hotels, and car parks. Some locations provide free charging for customers, or for an in-store purchase, although it might be for a limited time. Employers can apply for a government grant to install charging points at the workplace for employees.
For charging points with a fee, you’ll usually need to have an account with the supplier. Alternatively, you can download their free mobile app to find the charge points, start your charge and make payments.
The charging points vary between slow (3-5kW), fast (7-22kW), rapid (25-99kW, and ultra-rapid (100kW+). Check that your EV is equipped for rapid and ultra-rapid charging before using those chargers. Many local authorities are installing on-street slow charging points that can be used by people without overnight off-street parking.
Eco-Friendly Private Number Plates
Number plates for new EVs will now have a green strip on their number plate making it easier to identify them. But you might want to add your own eco-friendly private number plate to your EV to show your green credentials.
CarReg have many ECO plates that may fit the bill, such as 1 ECO, B5 ECO, TH15 ECO, and many current style numbers such as AR04 ECO from just £155. Or how about units of electricity such as AMP 4T, W40 AMP, BP05 AMP, WAT 5, K23 WAT, or V22 OLT.
Simply use the convenient search feature to check if the number plate you want is available.